Wisdom From Daydreaming Out Our Window
14May
11
Content, Content, Content!
Content, Content, Content! Imagine this: Your favorite show is on the tube this evening. You're stoked! You are looking forward to putting the kids down, sitting down with your special other, popping some popcorn, kicking back and finding out how Rosie is gonna keep Rick from leaving with Genie before she can tell her how she really feels! You're all ready, popcorn in hand, remote at ready.

The beginning credits roll and the anticipation builds. Then, instead of your normal show all you see is your favorite characters walking around acting like they are doing things, but no one is saying anything. You’re just able to make out what they are trying to do but without the dialog it really frustrating and begins to irritate you.

Content is everything.

The story is humorous because who can imagine a TV show that has no content?

As funny as this story is, many companies have this same problem with their online marketing campaigns. Even worse than that, many developers have for years built websites, applications or interactive products that contain no viable, actionable, content. Such a high premium is put on sites that look pretty, strategies that include a new cool mobile app (that doesn’t really do anything worthwhile), or a blog or Facebook page (cause that is the newest, coolest thing) that never gets updated. All of these things are great and definitely have their place, but without content they really fall flat.

“What are you talking about? We have tons of copy on our site?”. Why, yes you do! Boy, you really do! The latest averages for how much time you have to communicate an actionable idea to a user is approx. 3 seconds. 3 seconds. That means if you aren’t very specific about communicating your theme you will lose them. Good designers and developers are sifting copy down to small snippets that can be easily digested. They are leaving the large amounts of descriptive copy to pages buried deeper in the site or using those snippets to drive users to connect through mediums like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Then using those mediums to communicate their theme over time with consistent points of interaction. Here are a few ideas when trying to decide what content to put on your site.
  • Do your best to decide on content BEFORE you begin the design or development process of your site. Your development agency or firm can help you organize your thoughts and put them to a site map or wireframe template.
  • Use elements within the home page to break up important themes into short actionable snippets. Things like slide shows, twitter feeds, news reels, breakout boxes, or visualized navigation.
  • Don’t be afraid to hire a Copywriter. Writing copy can be overwhelming and many times holds up the project because it is unpleasant and frustrating. A Copywriter can sit down with you and your team and take that off your plate. Their expertise will make you sound amazing!
  • Integrate social mediums within your pages so that you are pushing your users to connect to mediums where your reach is consistent, and long term.
  • If you choose to open the social media wormhole, be committed. No one will continue to listen to you if you never post. Consider dedicating a person on your team to take responsibility for making sure your boards, pages and twitter accounts don’t go dry. If that isn’t a possibility ask your development firm or agency to suggest some alternatives, like ghost blogging.

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